March/April 2008

Educational video launched

By A. Gordon

Characters in NickelQuest video visit a flotation facility.

The Ontario Mining Association (OMA), in association with the Nickel Institute, has created a 15-minute educational video featuring an animated tour of an underground nickel mine and surface mineral processing plant. Entitled NickelQuest, the amusing and informative video is designed to introduce students aged 13 to 14 to the many high-tech job opportunities available in the mining industry. In Canada alone, the mining industry anticipates having to hire 80,000 skilled individuals in the next 10 years.

;Gone are the days when mining was a labour-intensive industry based on old technology,” said Karen Mayfield, managing director of eSolutions Group, the Waterloo, Ontario-based digital media company that produced the video for the OMA. “In working on this project we discovered how closely the technology used in mining reflects what companies like ours use everyday, and we gained an appreciation for how mining fosters innovations. For example, we learned how mining uses cutting-edge software for 3-D visualization of ore bodies, geographic information systems, mine planning, virtual modelling, exploration, safety, science and management.”

The OMA distributed the video on DVD to grade 8 students throughout the province. In addition, the Nickel Institute is streaming the video from their website.

“This project sprang from the realization that it is logistically impossible to take all Ontario students on a tour of an underground mine,” explained OMA president Chris Hodgson. “We decided the next best thing would be to use technology to create a virtual tour; if you can’t take the students to the mine, why not take the mine to the students?”

“We hope NickelQuest will inform students of the more than 400 career possibilities the industry offers,” said Hodgson, adding that he also hopes it will promote earth sciences and mineral education in the eyes of curriculum coordinators, teachers, school boards and government.

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